Finlay, Claassen and Kenny answer Leinster's call

Story by Jimmy Geoghegan

Thursday, 23rd November, 2017 3:36pm

Finlay, Claassen and Kenny answer Leinster's call

Meaghan Kenny

Three players who either played for Navan under-age teams or are still turning out for the Balreask Old club have been included in the Leinster senior women's squad for a series of interprovincial games to be played in the forthcoming weeks. 

Jennie Finlay, Carla Claassen and Meaghan Kenny are in line to wear the blue of Leinster as the team goes about holding onto their inter-provincial title won last year. 

Finlay, who plays as a hooker, has one full Irish international cap to her name, earned against Scotland in the Women's Six Nations. The Bective girl is the daughter of Leo Finlay a well-known Navan RFC official.

Kenny made her senior debut for Leinster last year and started against Connacht before making appearances as a substitute in games against Munster and Ulster. She is from Ballivor and  like Finlay played under-age rugby for Navan. 

A student at Carlow IT she is currently with Railway Union and lines out as a centre or a winger. "Meaghan is over the moon she's picked again, she enjoyed the experience last year of playing with Leinster and she was hoping to get another chance to turn out for the team at that level," added her father Aidan Kenny who was involved in the under-age set up at Navan RFC. 

Her selection on the Leinster teams ensures Kenny has a busy schedule as  she is required to travel up from Carlow twice a week for training with Leinster and one night a week for practice with AIL side Railway Union. 

Claassen is from Ratoath and plays as a lock forward and she currently plays with the Navan senior side.  A student of physiotherapy Claassen's parents Adrian and Mariana Van Den Berg are originally from South Africa. Adrian Van Den Berg coaches rugby at Athboy RFC. This is the first time Claassen has been selected for the Leinster senior squad. 

Leinster kick-off their interprovincial campaign against Ulster away on Saturday 2rd December before taking on Connacht at home and Munster at Thomond Park in subsequent weeks. 

"Navan RFC extend their congratulations to Carla Claassen of Navan RFC's ladies team and former Navan RFC players Jennie Finlay and Meaghan Kenny on their selection to the Leinster Women's Squad for the 2017 Interprovincal Series of matches," commented Navan RFC President Gerry Williamson. 

Leinster Women’s squad – Carla Claassen (Navan RFC)' Ciara Cooney (Railway Union), Linda Dempsey (Rathdrum), Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere), Jennie Finlay (Old Belvedere) Paula Fitzpatrick (St Mary’s), Orla Fitzsimons (St Mary’s), Christy Haney (St Mary’s), Oonagh Hynes (Old Belvedere), Rachel Horan (CYM RFC), Caoimhe Molloy (Gorey RFC), Aoife McDermott (Railway Union), Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union), Fiona O’Brien (Old Belvedere), Lindsay Peat (Railway Union), Ann-Marie Rooney (Blackrock), Juliet Short (Railway Union), Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere)

Backs - Nicole Carroll (Suttonians), Michelle Claffey (Blackrock), Aimee Clarke (Railway Union), Eimear Corri (Blackrock), Aine Donnelly (Old Belvedere) Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union)Maria Kenny (Old Belvedere), Meaghan Kenny (Railway Union), Ciara McDonnell (Garda/Westmanstown), Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere), Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere), Elise O’Byrne-White (Old Belvedere), Meg Parkinson (Wicklow), Molly Scuffil-McCabe (Garda/Westmanstown), Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere), Megan Williams (Old Belvedere).